Ronaldo’s Bicycle Kick Heard ‘Round the World

Can+we+please+talk+about+this+bicycle+kick%3F+%28Courtesy+of+Twitter%29.

Can we please talk about this bicycle kick? (Courtesy of Twitter).

By Andrew Posadas

Can we please talk about this bicycle kick? (Courtesy of Twitter).

Real Madrid went into Italy for the first leg of its quarterfinal matchup against Juventus, and the team absolutely dominated the Italian squad on their way to a 3-0 victory. You would think a win against one of the best teams in the world would be the headline. It wasn’t. Nobody cared about the box score.

The only part of the game we really cared about was the 64th minute.

Up to that point, Madrid was in complete control. Ronaldo had already made his presence known; scoring within the first four minutes of the game. That goal gave him a new record as the first player to score in ten consecutive Champions League games. As if that wasn’t enough, Ronaldo gave us the goal of the tournament in the second half.
After a masterful save by Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, Madrid defender Dani Carvajal lifted the ball back into the box. What happened next was nothing short of jaw-dropping.

While everyone seemed to allocate themselves accordingly to get a head on the ball, Cristiano Ronaldo decided, “What the heck?” and proceeded to jump into the air for a bicycle kick. The timing was right. The kick was precise. The ball was placed into the bottom left corner where only Mr. Fantastic would’ve had a chance to keep it from the back of the net.

But, the most incredible part came after the goal: a moment of silence conveying the thoughts of everyone in the stadium: what did we just see?

Buffon and the rest of Juventus looked stunned. What could they do about that? Absolutely nothing. It’s one of the greatest soccer players of all time doing what he does best: scoring goals in amazing fashion. Even the hostile crowd in Italy couldn’t boo Ronaldo. A majority of the arena gave him a standing ovation, admitting that even though Ronaldo was the enemy, his greatness was and is still appreciated.

Ronaldo has clearly cemented himself as the greatest player to ever play in Champions League. He’s on pace to break the record for most goals in a single UCL tournament (17) set by…oh yeah, by Cristiano Ronaldo. I spoke about him scoring in 10 consecutive UCL games; that feat hasn’t been achieved by anyone but him.

His sheer mastery in UCL play only further cements his resume as one of the greatest footballers of all time. Going up against the best teams in the most competitive and prestigious tournament outside of the World Cup. At 33 years of age, the “decline” some observers spoke of while watching Ronaldo’s early struggles in 2017 has disintegrated into nothing more than a moot point.
However, not everyone is in accordance with the notion of Ronaldo being the GOAT. Two factors give people cause to pause: Lionel Messi and a World Cup Championship.

As Messi continues to power Barcelona into success, the debate on Messi vs. Ronaldo will give soccer fans headaches and raspy voices from arguing. A clear-cut answer agreed upon by the entire soccer world is implausible.
Unless.

Unless the second factor comes into play. The ultimate achievement for a soccer player is bringing their country a World Cup trophy. That’s what made Pele and Maradona legends.

Who will it make a legend next?